Professor of Earth Science James Adamski Brings Students to the Colorado Plateau Literally and Virtually

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses 

Valencia students and Professor of Earth Science James Adamski recently visited the Colorado Plateau as part of studies funded by the Lockheed Martin Endowed Chair in Science. James led the trip from Wednesday, October 11, 2017, through Wednesday, October 18, 2017, in which nine students learned about the geology, hydrology and natural history of the Colorado Plateau and visited the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks.

This trip not only served as an opportunity for the nine students to learn about the area, but also as a chance for James to partner with Professor of English for Academic Purposes James May to put Valencia’s 360-degree camera, The Ricoh 360 camera, to use. With the camera, which facilitates a 360-degree virtual reality, James Adamski was able to capture images that will make virtual or remote reality field trips possible for future classes.

James Adamski selected this specific region in Colorado because of its rich geologic history, from the Precambrian period (about 1.5 billion years ago) to the present. Students learned, by looking at the rocks, that the region has experienced continually changing ecosystems from a shallow tropical ocean during the Permian period (250 million years ago) to a river floodplain during the Triassic period, then a Sahara-like desert during the Jurassic period and, finally, a tropical lake during the Eocene period (50 million years ago).

James said, “The Ricoh 360 camera, loaned to us by James May, has been great. It’s difficult to imagine the immensity and beauty of the region from photos, but the 360-degree photos will allow students in my classes to have the best view of these parks without being there. I look forward to using these pictures and others I’ve taken in all of my courses.”

Click here to view sample images from James’ trip. (Note: When viewing an interactive 360 degree image, click and drag to move around within the images.)

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